Katie Beecher, who lives in Old Saybrook, received her formal education is in counseling. "I am an art therapist, but I have been a full-time artist for several years. I never thought I would ever be a professional artist. I always liked to draw as a child and first tried watercolors in high school. A few years later I took a few workshops and fell in love with the medium. I like the random effects the paint makes on the paper. Red is my favorite color, especially bright, cherry red. I like painting unusual objects like metal." The fire hydrant, which is on this week's cover, had just been painted and it seemed to be glowing in the sun, she said. "I couldn't resist painting it so I took a few photos. I had been visiting a friend in Stonington when I saw it." Beecher has a bachelor's degree in Biology and Psychology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.. She also has a master's degree and did post graduate work in Psychology and Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University.